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‘Not A Bad Idea To Have Test Championships For Women’ – India Head Coach Amol Muzumdar

India is set to play a one-off Test against South Africa after securing back-to-back white-ball series sweeps in T20Is in Bangladesh and ODIs against South Africa at home. Despite the recent success, India head coach Amol Muzumdar believes there is potential for improvement in every aspect of the game. 

“We do have the momentum – we won in Bangladesh, we won against South Africa. They are different formats, but at the same time, we are trying to focus on every game as it comes. The demands of playing a Test are different, but I think the team is prepared. There is always room for improvement in batting, bowling, fielding and fitness.” Amol Muzumdar stated, two days ahead of the Test match in Chennai.


India won their last Test in December by defeating Australia by eight wickets in Mumbai. India won another one-off Test at home against England, following the previous victory. Also, most top players participated in the Senior Women’s Inter-Zonal Multi-day Trophy in Pune from March-April.

The teams have only five days to prepare for the upcoming Test against South Africa after the conclusion of the ODIs on June 23. However, Muzumdar believes that players are aware of the challenges of switching formats, considering red-ball cricket is part of their long-term plans.

“In December, we played against England and Australia; we played back-to-back Tests,” Amol Muzumdar said. “We are aware that red-ball cricket will be a part of women’s cricket going forward, and hence I feel that the inter-zonal, which happened in March-April, was very critical. So that the players also get the message that it’s not just white-ball cricket or just T20s that we are focusing on. We are also focusing on the red-ball stuff, and I think they are aware and they are ready and raring to go in the multi-day format. To adjust to that is a different story.”

“Those are the demands of modern-day cricket. You know you cannot escape that as a team. So we try to cater to all the demands. It’s not easy, but at the same time it’s a challenge and we accept it as a challenge to adapt to different formats,” – Amol Muzumdar further added.

“Test cricket is always special” – Amol Muzumdar

Amol Muzumdar

While India’s core team will remain unchanged as formats change, the likes of Shubha Satheesh, Sneh Rana, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Meghna Singh, who did not play the ODIs, will be coming in for the Test.

“I think those four players are very important players. We did have a camp that happened at the NCA about 15 days back, and they were specifically given red-ball stuff to be done in the camp,” the Indian head coach Amol Muzumdar again said.

“So they’ve already had the workload. The workload has been shared to them, and also when they went back home, they were told a few things to do. Their weekly chart was organized and given to them. So they’re completely fresh and raring to go. Even when they’ve come here and [are] in the squad, we just had a practice session yesterday with those four players, and they look absolutely fine.”

Amol Muzumdar expressed his willingness to accept a men’s-style World Test Championship for women, despite the Women’s Championships involving ODIs against South Africa. However, currently, Test cricket is played by only four teams: Australia, England, India, and South Africa.

“It’s not a bad idea to have Test Championships,” he said. “That’s something to look forward to, but that is for the board to decide. And if it happens, it’s even better for the game. Test cricket is always special. We like to keep it that way, that you know every game is important (regardless of the context) – whether it’s an ODI, T20 or a Test match. I know there is no Test Championship to look forward to, but at the same time, every game is important. We take part to win them.”

Amol Muzumdar also said that Shabnam Shakil, a 17-year-old uncapped medium-pacer, was brought into the team for all three formats to familiarize herself with the team culture. Shakil, a member of the U-19 World Cup-winning India team last year, also made an impression at WPL 2024 for Gujarat Giants, especially when she took 3 for 11 against Mumbai Indians.

“She’s definitely a superb talent, and that’s the reason she is here,” Amol Muzumdar said. “We’ve made a conscious decision of including her in the team so that she gets a feel of the dressing room, and also the atmosphere and the culture that we’re building. She gets a first-hand experience to that. She’s definitely a good talent, and we will hear more about her in the future.”

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